By Will Burton
An exciting and adventurous new online Irish history magazine, Scolaire Staire, is aiming to bring academia to the masses and deliver peer-reviewed articles to a tablet or laptop near you.
Scolaire Staire was launched in October by a Co Donegal academic and recent PhD graduate, Adrian Grant, who felt there was a gap in the market for a new type of platform for aspiring academics.
Scolaire Staire is a free, high-quality magazine focusing on Irish history. Scolaire Staire is different to other history magazines. The magazine is in a PDF format with the same layout as a conventional print magazine, yet every article is on the website, thus giving the added benefit of having fully searchable content, essential for students and academics.
Scolaire Staire offers students and academics the opportunity to get published in a peer-reviewed magazine. The process is considerably quicker than peer-reviewed journals, allowing research and ideas to be presented in a short time period.
Speaking to Adrian, he said: “I like to think of www.scolairestaire.com as an online conference venue where contacts can be made and discussions and debates can be held on current issues affecting us all.”
Usually, peer-reviewed journals can take anything from six months to a year before publication. This is to allow fellow academics from the same subject area to review and evaluate an author’s work. The real advantage of Scolaire Staire is that this time frame is considerably scaled down.
Although the process is long for a reason in peer-reviewed journals, Adrian feels that getting published as soon as possible is a key development for future research. “Nothing helps an academic career more than getting published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, what Scoláíre Staire offers is the chance to get snippets of research out there quickly.”
The added benefit of having a publication which quickly turns submissions into print articles is that “peers can see what you’re working on and offer help and advice. This can only be beneficial for helping people write up papers for academic journals.”
The topics in the first issue cover a variety of genres from Irish Nationalism and the Boer War, to the daunting undertaking of deciding to pursue a PhD.
Speaking to a contributor to the magazine, Kieran Fitzpatrick, who is studying for a masters in History at NUI, Galway said that: “Scolaire Staire is the perfect opportunity for somebody like me, a fledgling historian, to start writing for an academic (and wider) audience and build experience in working with editors to produce a piece of writing to the specifications of what’s needed.”
Although only having published one edition so far, Adrian said the website has an “extensive mailing list and the magazine is redistributed by many Irish study networks to their members all over the world.”
David McCann, who is pursuing a PhD at the University of Ulster thinks that the feel and structure of the magazine will really appeal to budding academics. “Sometimes in Journals it is hard to get that balance right, but in a magazine with the encouragement of a more informal style and with the knowledge that not just academics will read the articles you try harder to make it more interesting and readable.”
With no financial backing, the magazine is a product of the passion and love Adrian has for Irish history. A senior lecturer in Irish history at the University of Ulster, Dr. Emmet O’Connor, said “Scolaire Staire is an excellent and enterprising initiative from a PhD graduate with a deep commitment to promoting scholarship and debate among young historians.”
“The online magazine will provide a welcome alternative to the various blogging sites, which are often of very uneven quality. A serious, moderated, and peer-reviewed outlet for historians will be of great benefit for all with an interest in making history relevant.”
The magazine aims to take full advantage of the growth of technology with plans to branch out with smart-phone and ipad applications to make the magazine accessible for anyone who has an interest in Irish history.
Scolaire Staire is seeking articles and reviews on anything related to Irish history. The magazine features opinion pieces, letters and also a forum where authors, contributors and readers can create dialogue with one another.
Scolaire Staire can be contacted at: